Waking up every morning to the sight of bright and beautiful tulips glistening in the morning dew is extremely apt during a flower festival. I was very lucky to find myself in this position for the Nannup Flower & Garden Festival. Denise and Lawrie Green own Especially Tulips, a gorgeous tulip farm on the outskirts of Nannup, where they receive busloads of visitors at this time of the year when the flowers are at their peak. They generously decorate the town from top to toe with tulips for this annual occasion.
The Festival has embraced From Paddock to Plate (FP2P) with open arms and so now each year I make the exciting trip over to catch up with friends, visit farms, receive updates on what’s being grown and educate people about the ‘from paddock to plate’ journey of all the delicious foods being produced in the region.
Teaching the students at Nannup District High School about the importance of eating a nutritional breakfast every morning kick started the program. With a focus on local honey from Nannup Brook Farm, the children were whizzed away on a From Paddock to Plate virtual excursion to learn about how this product gets from bee to bottle.
Nannup Brook Farm’s Simon Green endeavoured to answer numerous questions on producing honey while simultaneously cutting the wax from honeycomb that he had extracted from one of his hives just moments earlier. Distinguished news reporter, Indira Naidoo, who is currently launching her latest book The Edible City, shared her family’s secret ingredient to making the most delicious meatballs… ricotta cheese. Find it in on our recipes page. The audience was then treated to a taste of bush tucker, including freshly-caught crab, foraged that morning by Josh Whiteland, creator of Koomal Dreaming… and this was only the first day!
FP2P continued to surprise and entertain on Saturday starting with local chestnut grower, Linda Stanley from Chestnut Brae. Make sure to cut a cross in the bottom of each chestnut before storing in the fridge to avoid the unfortunate incident of blowing the fridge door off as did happen to one of Linda’s unsuspecting customers! Neville Passmore, one of Western Australia’s most recognised and respected gardening identities, cooked up a storm using delicious local lamb produced on Merri Bee Organic Farm while John Lucey drew a packed crowd with his cider-making tips. Did you know that cider was used in 14th Century England to baptise babies because it was considered safer than water? Did you also know that this South West region in WA is home to the Pink Lady apple? From food waste to taste, the Urban Tucker Woman Caroline Harry brought the show home with her fascinating tips on making cleaner with orange peels and vinegar and firelighters with dried orange peel. She baked a scrumptious pear cake that added the finishing touch to a perfect day.
Larger than life butcher Vince Gareffa needs little introduction. He’s had 50 years experience in the meat industry and knows how to make the best pork sausages. If you came to his session today, you’ll have all the tips! From sausage making competitions to being daring and tasting one of the hottest chillis on the market thanks to local chilli grower, Andy Longmore, there was not a spare seat in the house. Sabrina Hahn finally brought the house down laughing as she explained why it’s so important to wash your herbs before cooking with them. Why do you think it’s important?
For more rave reviews from the Nannup Flower & Garden Festival visit www.nannupgardens.org.au
Thank you to the Festival Committee and everyone involved to ensure the FP2P stage and the entire Flower Festival was, once again, a huge success. Congratulations!
Founder of FP2P